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Capitalism and Beyond


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including: Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


Capitalism dominates the modern world. Is this a good thing? Is there any alternative? This course investigates key philosophical arguments for, against, and beyond capitalism by classic authors such as Epicurus, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Marx, Schumpeter, and Keynes as well as more contemporary writers like Milton Friedman, Fred Hirsch, G.A. Cohen, Philip van Parijs, and David Graeber.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • Key philosophical arguments about capitalism.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the arguments that philosophers have made about capitalism and its future/alternatives.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and small written assignments.

Assessment method


  • Midterm Essay: 30%

  • Final Essay: 70%


The final mark for the course is determined by (i) the weighted average of the essays combined with (ii) the class attendance requirement.


Students can resit an essay assignment if their overall grade for the entire course is 5 or less. It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement.

Inspection and feedback

Students will have an opportunity to discuss the grading of their essays with the instructor.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available on Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis for this course is not possible. Students are requested to submit their preferences for the third-year electives by means of an online registration form. They will receive the instruction and online registration form by email (uMail account); in June for courses scheduled in semester 1, and in December for courses scheduled in semester 2. Registration in uSis will be taken care of by the Education Administration Office.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.